Rhode Island hospitality sector returns to pre-pandemic revenue levels

Published on Thursday, August 10, 2023

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An analysis of spending in Rhode Island’s hospitality sector released today by the R.I. Department of Revenue’s Office of Revenue Analysis (ORA) shows that hotel and meal/beverage tax revenues returned to pre-pandemic levels in Fiscal Year 2022 and continued that positive trend into the recently concluded Fiscal Year 2023.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought Rhode Island’s important tourism sector to a standstill in 2020. Hotels, restaurants, and bars have since clawed back revenue as people became more comfortable with attending public events and patronizing local businesses.

According to the Special Report “How Have Rhode Island Hotels and Restaurants Performed Post-Pandemic?” the state has recovered more than 90% of jobs in the “Accommodation and Food Services” sector, on par with Massachusetts and Connecticut. Even when adjusting for inflation, hotel and meal/beverage tax revenues have met or exceeded pre-pandemic amounts.

In addition:

  • Meal and Beverage tax revenue for Fiscal Year 2022 totaled $32,516,283 exceeding the $28,297,063 recorded in Fiscal Year 2019.
  • Hotel tax collections from the state’s 1% local hotel tax reached $5,856,253 in Fiscal Year 2022, up from the $5,072,891 recorded in Fiscal Year 2019.

To view the full report, see the Special Reports section here on the DOR website.

The Department of Revenue consists of six divisions: Central Collections Unit, Division of Motor Vehicles, Division of Municipal Finance, Division of Taxation, Office of Revenue Analysis, and Rhode Island Lottery.